WOW what a whirl wind adventure this was!
Woolfest was my first big show, so I was not sure what to expect (I did Summer Woolfeast in November, but everyone said that was really quiet).
I left Chch on Friday morning, so I didnt need to stress with set up time as I had never been to West Auckland before, let alone a HUGE wool show!
I arrived at the airport to find one of my checked bags had been knocked off my ticket due to flight changes. Boy did the anxiety kick in! The lady wasn't listening to me, that I had purchased TWO checked bags. With literally minuets to the checkin, finally she got a manager who cleared it up. Apprantly this happens often.
I was not leaving a bag behind, You have no idea how much stuff I managed to squeeze in my suitcases.
My suitcases were bulging! (I had to get my husband to zip them up for me).
So the lady at the bag drop made me weigh them, Just my luck one was overweight! - Seems this trip wasn't going to go smoothly! OH MY GOSH, This was not fun! I started to try repack, but it just wasn't happening. I decided it was easier just to pay the $60 overweight fee. I went to pay and it turned out the lovely lady who had cleared up my ticket issues had waived this fee! Finally I made my way to the boarding lounge.
Due to my flight changes, I was a couple of hours earlier then I had planned. Julie from Wool on Wheels picked me up from the airport, we had time to kill, so we went and had a lovely lunch and made our way to Corban Estate.
I just loved these buildings, It makes me miss the old Christhcurch, and appreciate character when I see it.
While setting up I very quickly realised I needed a second table. I just couldnt fit everything I had on one. After a little stressing things started to turn around, Susan's (Darn-Knit) husband had not long left to go get a second table for her, so she managed to get ahold of him and I had a table coming too! ( i cant thank you enough, this made such a huge difference).
(Yes all of this came out of two suitcases).
Saturday - Woolfest day!
Good Morning Henerson
Susan picked me up from my hotel, which we quickly realised I could hae walked to Corban Estate within a few minuets (Duh). However, there was a difficult start to the day, we wern't sure when we would be aloud to access the venue due to Police pressence, so we sat around a little kind of lost I guess.
We ended up going on a ticky tour around, I dont know where!? and ended up back at the local McDonalds for breakfast. While their we got the call that we could now get in and finish set up (PHEW!)
I was extremelly lucky to have the stall right next to the entrance and exit door, I couldn't have asked for a better position! My helper Hayley arrived and we got the display looking as good as we could with the shortned set up time.
Finally everyone came rushing in, it was really cool to watch so many walk through the door. The start seemed slow for half a second, I guess because everyone wants to look around, see who is their, where their favourite dyer and supplier is. Then all of a sudden people where at my stand and the day had begun. One of my first customers wanted to use EFTPOS, which was great because I had it, But guess what? It didn't work! I felt so bad.. All morning their were issues with it, which I really thank everyone for being SO paitent, even coming back to see if it had sorted itself out yet. In the afternoon it seemed to be working well.
I had the most amazing day, It was great to have many conversations with customers, a few laughs, to teach people about Chiaogoo and put names to faces. I managed to sit down and eat a Pizza later in the afternoon and Hayley got to go Woolfest'ing for herself and came back with gorgeous yarn. A special thanks to Hayley as I couldn't have done this by myself, you helped make it so easy, for myself and customers.
I had to checkin at the Airport by 5.30. Christchurch time = heaps of time, right? Some people were telling me I'd be fine, others telling me im really pushing it! Well is all I can hope, is that I make it! .. We rushed to pack up, I started to take my tall stand down a bit earlier as I didn't really need it anymore anyway. We got everything to the car and you wouldn't belive it, The car battery was flat! ARRGGHH Anxiety and stress all over again (LOL). Luckily Hayley had jumpers and the lady next to us, jump started the car. Off I went on my journey home.
I got to the boarding lounge with time to eat half a sandwich and it was time to board. The two ladies in the seats next to me, were coming home from Haiwai (If I rememebr correctly). We chatted aboout their Holiday and my trip. My feet were aboslutly killing me though and I couldn't stop wriggling, I kept saying sorry to the lady next to me - because who likes to be next to that annoying person? Especially if youve just come off a long haul flight!
I got home, Unpacked the next day and setup the website again. Then I got awfully sick with a cold. It just wipe'd me out! Today, a week later I finally am feeling like myself again. So now it's time to get stuck into dying for Midwinter Woolfeast and do this all over again (Less the travelling, this time).
Auckland, I will be back next year, Although I spent litlle over 24 hours up their I had such a fantastic time. I have learnt alot from this experience, so I can only improve upon my first big Wool and Fibre show.